Just when you thought Manchester United could not sink any lower, they, almost biblically, found a way to do exactly that.
They fell to a fifth consecutive Premier League away defeat in dramatic fashion on Saturday evening, losing 4-0 to Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium. The Seagulls scored three times in the opening 15 minutes of the second-half to blow the Reds away, leaving Cristiano Ronaldo laughing in the center of the pitch.
Moises Caicedo fired the Seagulls in front in the first-half, meaning United remerged for the second-half 1-0 down. Just 15 minutes later, though, they were 4-0 behind, with Marc Cucurella, Pascal Gross and Leandro Trossard all capitalizing on some shambolic defending.
READ MORE: United player ratings vs Brighton as Scott McTominay and Alex Telles awful
Defeat on the south coast officially ended United’s already faint Champions League ambitions for next season, whilst it also confirmed that this current squad now boasts the worst defensive record of any Reds side in the Premier League era, now conceding 55 goals this term. It is a shambles from top to bottom.
There was nothing for United’s contingent of traveling fans to get remotely excited about, not even 0-0. However, some moments might have escaped your notice during the contest. Here are four moments that you might have missed:
Rangnick’s touch of class
Ahead of kick-off on the south coast, interim manager Ralf Rangnick, close to his former stomping ground, took time out to pose for photographs and sign autographs for a cluster of Brighton supporters situated behind the dugouts. The German was a student at Sussex University many years ago and lived in Falmer, meaning he is no stranger to that particular part of the world.
It was Rangnick’s time at Sussex University as a 21-year-old that first made him fall in love with English football. He spent time in England as part of his English and PE degree at Stuttgart University in Germany.
He was generous with his time with the home fans ahead of kick-off and you could not fault him. A respectable act.
Telles taught a lesson
With Luke Shaw sidelined, Alex Telles has started each of United’s last four matches at left-back. However, he was under intensive pressure at the Amex, especially in the first-half.
The majority of the Seagulls’ first-half attacks came down their right-wing through Solly March and Gross and they doubled up on Telles. The Brazilian struggled to deal with the pair of them and was often caught out-of-position, so much so that Bruno Fernandes, Ronaldo and Rangnick all had to tell him to where he should have been.
The left-back area is a position that might need addressing closely over the summer. Youngster Alvaro Fernandez was amongst the substitutes once again.
Ronaldo gets the giggles
As Gross celebrated his first goal of the season and Brighton’s third of the contest, Ronaldo could not help but chuckle to himself about United’s woes. The Sky Sports cameras focused on him as the Seagulls celebrated and picked him up donning a smirk on his face and laughing at himself.
It was clear that he was stunned by the defending that had led to Gross’ goal and it marked one of those moments that had a real feel of ‘if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.’ Whilst Ronaldo has delivered at the top-end of the pitch this season, those at the other end of the pitch have failed far too often.
Both sets of fans poke fun
Winless at home since Boxing Day, it was always going to be United that would gift Brighton their first home win of 2022, wasn’t it? The Seagulls supporters were loving every second of a pleasant May evening in the sunshine and they mocked United in the process.
Coasting towards three points, the Brighton fans started singing: ‘How s**t must you be? We’re winning at home!’ When that chant comes out, you know things are going horribly wrong.
But it wasn’t just the Brighton fans that were making their voices heard. Whilst they mocked United, so did the away supporters, who, tongue-in-cheek, started to sing about former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
They chanted his name, no doubt signaling that they felt sorry that one of Old Trafford’s all-time greats lost his job as a result of talented players refusing to pull their weight and deliver what was expected of them. They also chanted ‘You’re not fit to wear the shirt’.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.